Zachary R. Wood's talk on uncomfortable learning — a method that is wildly controversial, reveals the benefits of hearing what the other side has to offer. It is not about affirming opposing and dangerously conservative views, it is about gaining a deeper understanding of their motives.
The speaker is a Robert L. Bartley Fellow at The Wall Street Journal and has first-hand experience with uncomfortable learning as a child and as a student. In his years attending Williams College, Zachary R. Wood wanted to invite people like Charles Murray and Richard Herrnstein — individuals, who entertain largely misinformed and offensive opinions with regard to the African-American community, to speak at the school. In doing so, Zachary believed that there is such a thing as "learning from the other side." The idea was not to be submissive to these perspectives, but to see them as pertaining to issues that are complex, controversial and ever-changing in their nature.
During the talk on uncomfortable learning, Zachary R. Wood identifies the method as one that is extremely valuable in the quest of gaining a thorough understanding of humanity and even more perspective on our own beliefs. In its essence, uncomfortable listening is "worth the discomfort" and we become stronger because of it.